Psychology for Lawyers

mia (a lawyer) in therapy
an introduction to neurosis


"For Jung, the personality is constantly getting stuck in narrow limits, unable to move forward, and is menaced by an other, an antagonist who stand in its path. This other is what psychotherapy calls a neurosis, that is, an emotional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts, compulsive acts and physical complaints dominate the personality. The aim of therapy is not exactly to get rid of the neurosis, but to transform and deepened it by understanding why it arose in the first place.

Typically, a neurosis emerges when a person's consciousness is not broad enough to encompass the contents of the psyche that demand to be lived and seek expression."

--David Tacey, How To Read Jung 75 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., First American ed., 2007)


Daniel Goldman, "The Strange Agony of Success," New York Times (August 24, 1986) [online text]

Alexander Lowen, Fear of Life 1-3, 8-10 (New York: Macmillan, 1980)

Ken Sanes, Psychoanalysis, Neurosis and the Self after Freud [online text]

Entry on "Neurosis," in Daryl Sharp, Jung Lexicon [online text]

"The Driving Forces in Neuroses," in Karen Horney, Self-Analysis 37-45 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1942)

Karen Horney, Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis 23-32 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1945)

David Shapiro, Neurotic Styles 1-4, 15-20 (New York: Basic Books, 1965)

Class Video

Class Viewing 1: Review Mia's meeting with Paul Weston when she was acting as his attorney. She admits to her former therapist that her "success" as a lawyer is not quite what it might seem to be to an outsider.

Dr. Weston remarking on Mia's success says, "look at you, where you are now." Mia responds: "I'm a success because I work in a tall building . . . . Yea, I made it through law school all the way to the top floor and the beautiful views, and the windows that don't open, and the the f---ing jackhammers that never stop. And you know what I do when I win a case, one of those hopeless ones only I would take, I go out and get drunk with my gay secretary and then I stumble home to my one bedrom condo and I pray I can fall asleep." Dr. Weston: [nods] "Were you trying to show me how well you have done and how sad you are?"

"Mia" (the lawyer) | In Treatment (HBO) | Season 2, Dk. 1, Episode 1 [relevant part of the DVD to review is at 20:30 mins. to 21:58 mins.] [video clip of relevant commentary by Mia is at 2:00 mins, ends at 3:16 mins.]

Class Viewing 2: In Therapy [14:50 mins.] [Susie Orbach] [begin presentation at 0:14 mins., end at 7:24 mins.]

Class Viewing 3

"Mia" | In Treatment (HBO) | DVD | Season 2, Dk. 2, Episode 6 | 25:00 mins  

. Class Viewing 4: Authenticity [22:03 mins.] [Susie Orbach & Maria Furtwängler, Munich, 2011] [conversation begins at 5:00 mins. and relevant comment ends at 7:22 mins.; resume at 11:30 for Orbach's comment on how to work with a patient like Mia, end at 13:30 mins.] [Orbach responds to a question about young women who have achieved success and find themselves in trouble] [Susie Orbach is a British psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, writer, and social critic. She founded Women's Therapy Centre of London]

Optional Class Viewing

Class Viewing: Who Can Benefit from Psychoanalysis? [6:59 mins.] [Susan K. Moore, with Donald Craveth, Toronto Psychoanalytic Society; commentary on neurosis] [end class presentation at 3:16 mins.]

Class Viewing: Performing Therapy On Yourself: Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization [8:19 mins.] [Academy of Ideas] [focusing on the ideas of Karen Horney; on the failure to flourish; "unconscious neurotic trends"; neurotic tends are effected by temperament and environment; self-analysis & self-knowledge] [possible end of presentation at 5:29 mins.] [video ends at 8:10 mins.]

Class Viewing: Jordan Peterson Comments on High Achieving Women and the Search for a Mate [2:17:15 mins.] [the relevant comments are roughly 3 mins. that run from 52:23 mins to 55:20 mins.] [June 2. 2017]

Class Viewing: What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness
[12:46 mins.] [Robert Waldinger] [TED Talk]

Reference (On Being Neurotic)

On Being Neurotic
[web resources compiled for the course on the neurotic and neurosis]

The Freudian Human Being
[0:35 mins.] [Dany Nobus, psychoanalyst and chair of the Freud Museum London]

Reference (Burnout)

In My Mind: Burnout
[28:47 mins.] [focus on women] [this video would be worthwhile viewing for an entire class]

Reference (Video)

Happiness Is an Empty Promise
[12:27 mins.] [Steven Hayes] [clinical psychologist, University of Nevada] [end course presentation at 7:30 mins.]

Neurosis vs. Character Disturbance Dimension
[8:18 mins.] [end presentation at 4:05 mins.] [focus on anxiety]

A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis
[8:51:26 mins.] [a reading from Freud's book] [Freud's presentation of "the psychoanalytic conception of neurotic manifestation" begins at 7:56 mins.] [informative presentation of a case of obsessional jealousy ends at 27:54 mins.]

"In Treatment": Mia
[9:35 mins.] Mia's pathogenic belief [3:10 mins.] [Mia comments on her rivalry with her mother] Mia talks about her feelings for Dr. Weston in her therapy with him some 20 years ago [9:58 mins.] Mia tells Paul that she is pregnant [7:22 mins.]

Reference (Susie Orbach)

On Psychoanalysis
[38:14 mins.]

Susie Orbach Psychotherapist, Activist and Author Founder of Anybody Working It!
[7:49 mins.] [comments that run to 1:58 mins. is relevant to Mia's therapy]

Susie Orbach Interview
[5:52 mins.] Pt2 [6:02 mins.]

The Whole Notion of Perfection is a Troubling Aspect of Our Society
[4:22 mins.]

Happiness: Mark Oakley and Susie Orbach speak at St Paul's Cathedral
[1:30:45 mins.] [Orbach's presentation begins at 1:46 mins.; her formal presentation ends at 13:16 mins.]

Reference (Dan Gilbert)

The Psychology of Your Future Self
[6:49 mins.] [Dan Gilbert] [TED Talk] [reference to the Big 5 personality traits]

Why We Make Bad Decisions
[34:09 mins.]

Reference (Women in a Corporate Culture)

Marleen O'Conner, Women Executives in Gladiator Corporate Cultures: The Behavioral Dynamics of Gender, Ego, and Power, 65 Maryland L. Rev. 465 (2006) [online text]


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